Flu occurs every year and most people usually recover within a week, but for some, the disease can be dangerous and increase the risk of developing more serious illnesses. In the worst cases, flu can result in a stay in hospital or even death.
Free flu jab
Flu can affect anyone, but some people are more susceptible to the effects of flu. The flu jab is free for everyone who is at increased risk including:
- pregnant women
- everyone who has long-term health condition like a heart problem, bronchitis, emphysema, severe asthma, kidney disease, liver disease or diabetes
- carers (whether employed in a care home, nursing home or agency) with their ID badge at their local pharmacy
- everyone aged 65 and over
This year, the following groups of children are being offered the flu vaccination:
- all 2 to 4-year-old children who will receive a quick and painless nasal spray rather than an injection
- all children in school years 1, 2 and 3 - parents will be asked permission for their child to get the free nasal spray vaccination at school
- Children over 6 months of age who have a health condition like a heart problem, bronchitis, emphysema, severe asthma, neurological condition or lowered immunity
About the nasal vaccine
The nasal vaccine contains a highly processed form of porcine gelatine. The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable.
Some faith groups accept the use of gelatine in medical products. Find out more about vaccines with porcine gelatine
Where and when to get the flu jab
It’s best to have the flu vaccination in the autumn. Remember that you need a flu jab every year as the flu virus can change from year to year.
The flu jab is free for everyone who is at increased risk. To get the vaccination, speak to your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist, or visit NHS Choices.
Carers can get the free jab at their local pharmacy, all they need to do is show their ID badge
For more information on children and flu vaccination visit NHS Choices Child Flu.